NEWS STORY. 11/09/2022
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium press room and gave his thoughts on Real Madrid's win over Mallorca: "We're doing well, very well. We've been able to cover for Benzema's absence. That was a big confidence boost given that we expect to have him back as soon as possible".
"The first three goals are what I want to take away from this game. They were of the highest quality. The best in my opinion was the most important one, Rodrygo and Vini Jr's link-up play, and from then on, things got easier. It was a difficult match due to many things: the heat, the fact that we conceded a goal from a set piece... We kept our cool and little by little we turned the match around and got the win".
The team's fitness level
"Many factors are at play. Above all, the players' genetics. There's a lot of energy, speed and strength in the squad. The attitude and commitment of the players is also important, they are dedicated and work hard every day. This enables us to be in top condition".
"One is a leader when he sets an example and Federico is very important for us. He's doing very well and is still very humble. This can help you to become a terrific leader in the future. There are a lot of people who can be leaders by example and not by their words. That's very important".
Vini Jr.'s goalscoring streak
"He's a special player with the way he plays, but sometimes his style of play can irritate opponents. He always looks to dribble regardless of whether the team is winning or losing. At times when an opponent is losing, they can get angrier than usual. It's all part of football and he's going to learn gradually from his experiences".
“The referee must be respected in every sense. Vini Jr. possesses extraordinary quality and the opposition is often a bit harder on him than usual. His attitude doesn’t need to change at all, he has the utmost respect for the opposition and the referee. If he doesn’t he’ll have to do so”.
What changed at half-time?
“The idea was to bring Hazard off as centre forward and put others in for their movement: Valverde, Rodrygo or Vini Jr. If the score hadn’t changed, I planned to put Rodrygo at centre forward”.
Hazard and Ceballos’ performances
“Dani was more involved in the game because there wasn’t much space or the forward players. Hazard did what I asked of him, he moved around and left space for others. It was a positive display by both of them. We found it difficult in the first half because the centre forward position wasn’t being occupied by the others. It doesn’t change anything going forward, my plan remains the same. Hazard or Rodrygo can both play as central strikers. If Hazard plays down the middle, we can’t play Valverde on the wing”.
“I was getting ready to bring on Mariano and Asensio if we didn’t get the second goal but Lucas Vázquez picked up an injury and with just one window left I didn’t plan to bring on another player. Anyway, it’s normal to be frustrated. It means he wants to play. He’s been the most heavily affected member of the squad in this period and I’m aware of that. He’s an important player and I understand his anger, it’s no problem at all”.
The World Cup
“I don’t think we’ll have any problems before the World Cup but the doubt is about afterwards. We haven’t thought about anything. Just the holidays for those who aren’t playing and the day we’ll be back in training. We’ll assess giving those coming back a rest nearer the time and we might not have the full squad available in the first few games. That’s the way the calendar is, like today we had to play at 2pm. Fortunately it wasn’t too hot”.